Hallowed Halls, St Andrew’s Road

The  former Supreme Court, now National Gallery Singapore, was opened on 3rd August 1939 by Sir Shenton Thomas (think Shenton Way), who was then the Governor of the Straits Settlement. He then handed the building over to Chief Justice Sir Percy McElwaine.

The original plan for the Supreme Court included the tearing down of the Cricket Club, the Parliament House (now Arts House) and the Victoria Memorial Hall. But the advent of World War Two thwarted this plan (heng, ah).

Many traversed these hallowed halls – the high and mighty, the poor and lowly, the innocent and guilty. I can only hope that all judgments passed were true and of good intent.

Singapore, October 2016

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Lady on Temple Steps

At Sri Muneeswaran Temple, Commonwealth Drive.

Thinking about her son.

Sweet dreams sir, Tiong Bahru

Sweet dreams, sir.

This too, is Singapore.

This picture was taken at 9.09pm this year on my birthday. I had just left a dinner for a gentleman who was near the end of his life on earth. He was surrounded by his loving family. We know he was going to heaven. But though his impending departure was sad, it was beautiful and touching to see him in his favourite setting – with his entire family.

The same evening, I saw this.

It took a while for me to post this. It made me sad and angry at the same time. But this is reality. So I do what I can. It’s not much but if we all do “not much”, it can actually add up to be a lot.

August 2016

Working in the Rain, Neil Road

Come rain or shine, mouths to feed.

Lady in Museum

Three of my favourite places to be in are museums, galleries and libraries. I could spend a long time in front of a piece trying to understand the context, emotions and motivations for creating a particular piece of art.

I also tend to prefer off-peak hours and pretend I own the museum.

Lynn agrees.

Gentleman in Thought, Tiong Bahru

Lock Hong stared blankly ahead with deep regret and emptiness of soul.

Twelve months ago, during the Hungry Ghost month, he fought with his best friend of 40 years, Qiao Si.

Lock Hong never saw him again. Qiao Si was involved in a fatal “accident” soon after their fight.

But every Hungry Ghost month, he felt his presence.

Behind Lock Hong, under the birdcage Qiao Si looked the other way.

He never forgets. And he never forgives.

Hungry Ghost Month, 2016

Gentleman Eating Dessert, Pasir Panjang

Dexter is torn. He loves his chendol. But he sometimes worries about his diabetes.

He is also contemplating a manicure. But he’s got a hermeneutics essay to write.

Decisions.

Singapore, August 2016

Gentlemen on Pick Up Truck, Pasir Panjang

Nawrin is from Charbaria Lamchari, a village in Barisal District of southern-central Bangladesh.

Myaing is from a village called Htart Kiet in the Shan State of Myanmar.

They both work for Ho Eng Huat Construction company.

I’m not sure what their accommodations are like. I don’t know what they eat. I know they are far from their families.

They may look mean. In a sense they are because they have a wicked sense of humour. They both have very kind hearts.

I’m very grateful for men like these.

Singapore, August 2016

Supper Alone, Kitchener Road

Ronaldo works the night shift. He can’t reveal what he does except to say he works with lots of people, brokering deals. So he prefers to eat alone before going into what he does from midnight to 4am most nights.

It’s a slog but somebody needs to do it (actually, not really).

Singapore, August 2016

Mee Goreng Seller, Adam Road

Arumugam makes a fierce mee goreng. Very fierce indeed.

Singapore, August 2016

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